Meaning of uillean pipes in English:

uillean pipes

plural noun

  • Irish bagpipes played held on the knee using bellows worked by the elbow, and having three extra pipes on which chords can be played.

    ‘At the forefront of the Irish traditional music scene, along with the likes of Altan and Sligo's own Dervish, this critically-acclaimed five-piece offer a unique blend of fiddle, flute, uillean pipes and guitar.’
    • ‘Maddy will be joined on stage by Nick Holland on keyboards and Troy Donockley on uillean pipes, guitar, cittern and whistle.’
    • ‘‘Irish airs, the uillean pipes - music like that affects me physically,’ she said.’
    • ‘Finbar soon joined in the sessions with his favourite instrument, the uillean pipes, matching Eddie's guitar playing and his father's fiddle mastery.’
    • ‘With superb vocals, harmonies and the magical sound of Jarlath's uillean pipes and low whistle, the lads can play anything from Tom Jones to Moving Hearts.’
    • ‘Although the uillean pipes work well as a droning shadow of Smith's complex lines, especially when combined with Bancroft's thumping bodhrán, it's hard to fight off visions of Riverdancing tourists.’


uillean pipes

/ˈɪlɪn/ /ˈɪlən/


Early 20th century from Irish píob uilleann, literally ‘pipe of the elbow’.